Possibly the most important event in the hosting industry, organised by Hospitality Financial and Technology Professionals (HFTP) under the title of the Hospitality Industry Technology Exposition and Conference (HITEC) took place at the end of June at the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore, Md.
A spokesman for HFTP proudly pronounced that HITEC is so important to the hospitality industry because it provides a unique combination of top-notch education as well as the world’s largest hospitality technology exposition. The education sessions that take place during the conference are led by the industry's leading peers and experts. Simultaneously, the HITEC exposition provides a cutting edge showcase for all the latest industry products and services, with more than 300 companies exhibiting.
This year's HITEC has picked a special significance as it marked the 40th anniversary of the of the founding of HFTP, and to celebrate the occasion more than 5000 professionals in the hospitality industry converged on Baltimore, coming from 45 countries.
The 2012 HITEC in keeping with the times addressed important issues, including marketing through the social media, coming to terms with all the latest mobile technology, data security, as well as the important issue of PCI Compliance.
The HITEC exhibition hall was jam packed with hundreds of exhibitors who explained and demonstrated to the thousands who attended the conference and show all of the latest products and technologies that will be available to the industry in the coming year.
A particular focus of attention to the visitors with the latest version of the hands-on exhibit GUESTROOM 20X, that provides a solid illustration of the possibilities that will be available for the standard hotel room as it evolves through the continued growth of technology integration. The latest version takes into account the business travellers' increasing utilization of their personal electronic devices and the power of the Internet as their central resource for entertainment and information gathering.
As far as HITEC's education program was concerned, the seminar officially got underway through an opening address from well-known industry figure Gary Loveman, CEO of Caesars Entertainment who gave attendees an insight into the hotel's successful loyalty program, Total Rewards.
Another education session that played to a packed hall was given by a well-known professional computer hacker, who used the audience by leading off-the-cuff versions of the more ridiculous attack attempts that the hospitality industry has had to fend off in the new social media age as well as providing effective tips on how to avoid being the victim of a hacking attack.
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